The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia on Monday rejected a request by telecommunications companies to rehear arguments challenging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) net neutrality rules, citing FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to repeal the rules.
The appeals court declined petitions from wireless telco interests CTIA, USTelecom, and cable association NCTA asking the court to revisit challenges to the FCC’s Open Internet Order in an en banc review.
“En banc review would be particularly unwarranted at this point in light of the uncertainty surrounding the fate of the FCC’s Order,” stated the decision. “The agency will soon consider adopting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would replace the existing rule with a markedly different one. In that light, the en banc court could find itself examining, and pronouncing on, the validity of a rule that the agency had already slated for replacement.”
A three-judge panel on the D.C. circuit initially ruled last June in the FCC’s favor, prompting the group, USTelecom, and its allies in the wireless and cable industries to seek a rehearing before the full court.
“We will continue to review our legal options going forward to fully protect our open internet, and to connect all Americans to the promise and potential of broadband,” USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter said in a statement.